Record potato production expected

A record quantity of potato production is likely in the northern Bangladesh as the farmers have exceeded its fixed cultivation target by 9.74 per cent and the crop is growing excellent this season, official sources said.
Meanwhile, the farmers have expressed satisfaction over the prevailing market price of their newly harvested potato getting per kg price between Taka 16 and 23 at the field levels depending on different varieties now.
According to the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) sources, a target of producing 60.65 lakh tonnes of potato has been fixed from 3.08 lakh hectares of land in northern Bangladesh during this current 2013-2014 Rabi season.
“Of them, farmers of the northern region are to produce 70.11 percent of the fixed national target of producing 86.50 lakh tonnes potato from 4.40 lakh hectares this season,” Horticulture specialist of the DAE Khondker Md Mesbahul Islam told BSS.
However, the enthusiastic farmers of the northern region have finally brought over 3.38 lakh hectares land under potato cultivation, which is more than 30,000 hectares or 9.74 per cent than the fixed production target, he added.
Meanwhile, the farmers have completed harvest of the early variety potatoes they had cultivated after harvesting short duration variety Aman rice like BRRI dhan33, BRRI dhan33, BRRI dhan48, BINA dhan7 etc in the region.
Farmers Abu Noor and Yunus Ali of village Singdoi said he had cultivated early variety potato on one acre land after harvesting the short duration Aman paddies and already harvested and sold those to earn huge profits this time.
Farmers Abul Hossain of village Kochukata, Ashraful Alam of Gangachara and Kalim Uddin of Bogulagari village said they have also completed harvest and earned excellent profits after cultivating potato on their lands after harvesting short duration Aman crop.
Talking to BSS, farmers Jahurul Alam, Mukul Hossain, Rabindra Nath and Khwaja Ahmed expressed their cautious satisfaction over present market price of potato and requested the government for ensuring fair price of the late variety potatoes.
Deputy Director of the DAE Feroz Ahmed here said the DAE, Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation, Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute and agri-related departments have provided quality potato seeds and inputs to the farmers.
Besides, officials and experts of the DAE and other concerned organisations have been providing necessary suggestions and technologies to the farmers in properly nursing their potato fields facing the current cold wave situation.
Associate Director – Agriculture of BRAC International for South Asia & Africa Dr M A Mazid said potato farming could become even more profitable if adequate preservation facilities were ensured and agri-industries set up besides enhancing exports.
Sylhet Correspondent reports: Potato growers of 12 upazilas in Sylhet district are hopeful of bumper production of the vegetable due to favourable weather conditions and timely supply of agro-inputs this season.
A total of 3,814 hectares of land have been brought under potato cultivation here this season, Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) sources said.
According to sources, 300 hectares of land have been brought under potato cultivation in Sylhet Sadar Upazila, 460 hectares in Bishwnath upazila, 290 hectares in Dakshin Surma upazila, 600 hectares in Golapgonj upazila, 400 hectares in Jakigonj upazila, 240 hectares in Kanaighat upazila, 300 hectares in Jointapur upazila, 480 hectares in Balagonj upazila, 300 hectares in Bianibazar upazila, 144 hectares in Companigonj upazila, 300 hectares in Goainghat upazila of the Sylhet district.
Bogra Correspondent says: Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) and framers have been expecting bumper production of potato in the district during this current season, official sources said.
Department of Agriculture Extension office sources said a total of 54,927 hectares of land have been brought under potato cultivation in 12 upazilas of the district with the production target 10,79,815 tonnes of potato. But, the farmers have successfully brought 61,305 hectares of land under the cultivation programme taking advantage of favorable climatic conditions and 1.2 million tonnes of potato would be produced in the district, DAE sources said.
DAE sources said of the total, some 7,495 hectares of land have been brought under the cultivation in Sadar upazila, 5,500 hectares in Shahjahanpur upazila, 2,420 hectares in Sherpur upazila, 550 hectares in Dhunat upazila, 1,440 hectares in Gabtali upazila, 560 hectares in Sariakandi upazila, 2,150 hectares in Sonatala upazila, 18,000 hectares in Shibganj upazila, 8,860 hectares in Kahaloo upazila, 7,230 hectares in Dhupchanchia upazila, 4,600 hectares in Adamdighi upazila and 2,500 hectares in Nandigram upazila.
Deputy Director of DAE Bojlur Rashid said, potato cultivation now considered as a financial crop to the farmers, so the cultivation increasing in the district every year.
DAE is making conscious farmers about balance use of fertilizer, proper use of pesticides and modern knowledge of the cultivation. They are inspiring farmers to produce more crops and also ensuring the supply of fertilizer and all agriculture equipments under government patronisation, he added.
Farmers said they could earn instant money by cultivating potato so they are getting more interest about the cultivation. Per kg potato production cost is nearly Tk 5 but now per kg potato selling in Tk 15-20 at retail market of Bogra.
BSS from Joypurhat addss: The framers have been expecting bumper production of potato in the district during this current Rabi season, official sources said.
A total of 39,500 hectares of land have been brought under potato cultivation in five upazilas of the district during the season with the production target of 9 lakh tonnes of potato, DAE sources said.
Of the total, 6,850 hectares of land have been brought under the cultivation in Sadar upazila, 7,085 in Panchbibi upazila, 5,065 in Akkelpur upazila, 8,650 in Khetlal upazila and 11,850 in Kalai upazila of the district, sources said.
DAE office sources said an initiative has been taken to ensure seed, fertilizer, pesticides and other agri-inputs to the farmers to boost production of potatoes in the district during the season.
Apart from these, different commercial banks also distributed agri-loan to the growers on easy term to farm potato on the land without any economical troubles, the sources added.